When Gov. Kate Brown announced her initial two-week closure of schools statewide, the impact on students, families and educators was lessened by the simple fact that schools were planning to be closed most of that time anyway, thanks to spring break.
Well, “spring break” is almost over, and schools will still be closed for another month at least. In his latest update to families, Canby Superintendent Trip Goodall answered the burning question most community members have: What will school look like in the coming weeks?
One thing he made clear: Canby schools will not be moving to a 100 percent online learning model.
“Neither our staff nor our students are prepared or trained for that structure of teaching and learning,” Goodall said.” Our goal is to keep students connected to their teachers and their learning. … There is no way to replicate our regular school day through distance learning.”
He said their plans are being updated with guidance from the Oregon Department of Education and, in accordance with the orders by Gov. Brown, they will “gradually roll out” supplemental educational and learning opportunities for our students during the first full week of April.
Families of current students should expect to hear from a district staff member next week, who will go over plans for supplemental educational and learning supports. This communication may come from a phone number you don’t recognize, Goodall said.
“Our staff is working outside of our schools and will not have access to the phone you normally receive calls from,” he explained.
In the meantime, some resources have already been made available online.
For students without the technological means to access these resources, the district can provide devices for students who need them. That process starts by sharing your students’ needs in the district’s survey here. They also plan to offer a device pick-up “drive-thru” sometime next week.
What about graduation, currently set for June 5, and prom? Will these important rites of passage happen, as planned? Will seniors even be able to graduate, after missing six weeks (or more) of their final year of instruction?
Goodall says the district is working to get guidance from the state about what the extended closure will mean for graduation requirements.
“Once we know what these requirements are, our staff will evaluate the graduation pathway for each senior and will develop an individualized plan for them,” Goodall said. “We will communicate directly with families and seniors about these plans.”
Since both graduation and prom are scheduled for after April 28, they remain on the calendar for now. But that could certainly change if Gov. Brown decides to further extend school closures.
The school district will continue to provide free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals for all children 18 and under starting Monday and continuing throughout the closure. Meals are available for pickup 9 to 11 a.m. at Baker Prairie, Carus, Eccles, Trost and Ninety-One School.
Resources for parents of students who may be experiencing mental health or social emotional challenges due to the extended closures and increased isolation may find resources here.
“I appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to connect with you and your students next week,” Goodall said. “The well-being of our staff, students, and community are of the utmost importance to us.”
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